Vince McMahon — longtime chairman and chief executive of WWE — agreed to pay $12 million in “hush money” to 4 different women over a 16-year time period, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal.
The paper claims all of the women were formerly associated with WWE … and all signed agreements with McMahon preventing them from discussing their relationship with the now 76-year-old billionaire.
One of the reported settlements included a $7.5 million payment to a former wrestler … who according to WSJ, claimed McMahon coerced her into giving him oral sex. Ultimately, Vince allegedly declined to re-sign the wrestler to a new deal after she refused further sexual encounters.
In 2018, the wrestler and her lawyer allegedly approached McMahon and negotiated a $7.5 million settlement in exchange for her silence.
There were two other previously unknown, alleged payouts made by Vince to former female employees. Each of those women reportedly received around $1 million. Those instances reportedly occurred around 2006 and 2008.
The new report comes on the heels of another WSJ story which led to McMahon voluntarily stepping down from his post at the helm of the wrestling promotion. In that instance, Vince reportedly agreed to pay a former WWE paralegal $3 million after they had an affair following her hiring in 2019.
WWE’s Board of Directors — where Vince sits as the director — recently hired an outside law firm to investigate the allegations. Despite being at the center of the inquiry, McMahon has said he’s “committed to doing everything in my power to help the Special Committee complete its work.”
It’s unclear what the latest developments will mean for that investigation.
Meanwhile, Vince’s daughter, Stephanie, is back with the company as interim CEO and interim chairwoman after briefly taking a leave of absence “to focus on family.”
Of note, McMahon has been seen regularly on WWE programming since the initial report of a payout came to light … making appearances on both “Smackdown” and “Raw.”